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by ganari  October 31, 2011 9:43 pm

 

Greener Cellulosic Fibres
 

A project announced in 2006 by the authorities in Finland to find ways of turning some of the wood from the Nordic country's forests into "resourceefficient production technologies" immediately attracted the attention of serious players in industries such as paper and chemicals. One of the focal points was always intended to be cellulose, using cellulose from the trees in material applications, and by March last year, a bio-refinery had been set up with the project leaders looking for new value chains to supply. According to one academic who has been active on the research side of the project, Professor Pertti Nousiainen, director of the institute of fibre materials science at Tampere University of Technology, the textile industry is a logical candidate.
 
The objective for this part of the project, called FuBio, is to find and develop technologies to use bio-refineries to modify cellulosic fibres into "future valuable materials and solutions". Given the stakeholders that the project attracted, the initial examples were applications in wood products, biofuel and packaging; textiles came some distance down the list. 
 

Professor Nousiainen and his research colleagues saw quite quickly, though, that the success of Lyocell means textile applications could fulfil one of the main criteria of FuBio, that the textile value chain is large enough in scale and value to cover the cost of using bio-refineries to extract fibres.
 
The producer of Lyocell, Lenzing, reported its best-ever six-month results in 2010, net profit of Euros 80.4 million on sales that increased by 43.6% compared to the first half of 2009 to Euros 847.2 million. In 2009, it issued a prediction for this year that, in 2010, fabric and garment manufacturers would use around five million tonnes of cellulosic fibres (not just Lenzing's, but across the board), a bigger share of the market than these fibres have ever had before. Part of the reason for the increase may be the association between cellulosic fibres, which come from plants, and sustainability. Lenzing itself says using wood as a renewable resource, and an "environmentally sound" production process help make its sustainability status "exemplary".
 
For Professor Nousiainen, the cellulosic fibre production he and his colleagues believe can arise from FuBio will prove to be more sustainable still. "Our approach is to use enzymes," he explains. "Enzymes open the nanofibrilar structure of the cellulose system allowing manufacturers to produce regenerated fibres that are very similar in tensile strength to viscose fibres."
 
The professor points out that wood cellulose is important, but has a compact physical and chemical structure and does not dissolve easily. He calls the processes current producers employ "difficult, expensive and often harmful to the environment" and says the use of enzymes instead is "an interesting green alternative to dissolving cellulose'.
 
He explains that commercialising this is an important aspect of FuBio and that the research team has been co-operating intensively to create a development plant,which will use machines that are used to produce viscose at the moment.
 
The bigger picture
 
According to Lenzing, using enzymes to produce cellulosic fibres rather than chemicals might not be such a bad idea; however, the company is not convinced it can be done effectively.
 

Dieter Eichinger, vice president, business unit textile fibres, agrees with Professor Nousiainen that dissolving cellulose is not a straightforward process. If it was possible to do this in water, for example, trees would be dissolving in lakes and seas across the globe. Cellulose is a polymer that has quite a long chain and as far as Mr Eichinger is aware, there are only two commercial ways of dissolving it. The first is to do so using a chemical process, as textile manufacturers do for example in the case of viscose. The second is to use a solvent as Lenzing does in the Lyocell process.
 
"So far the enzymes I'm aware of only degrade the polymer to a level to remove fibrils; this is used in textile technology to polish the surface," says Mr Eichinger. "I don't know exactly what the technology behind this [new development] is but of course it is always interesting testing new technologies on a commercial scale."
 
The end result of using an enzyme rather than chemicals would be the same, he says; however the benefits of using enzymes would greatly depend on the process. Isolating any one aspect of the production process is a mistake, according to Lenzing, because the only real benefits come from improving the whole chain. In the case of textiles, this can be very complicated, Mr Eichinger explains.
 
"Spinning is the first hurdle," he says. "Then there is dyeing and finishing. Lenzing has dedicated itself to working on this much more than in the past because the biggest impact on the environment takes place on the dyeing and finishing side. If you really want to save the world you're better off looking at that. When we talk about green stories, we always have to think about what impact we are having overall."
 
In terms of the solvent Lenzing uses to dissolve the polymer, he claims it is comparable to the type of detergent used in shower gels around the world on a daily basis. As a result, he suggests looking for an alternative might not be as necessary and impactful as it might sound.
 
Getting the focus right
 

Mr Eichinger suggests that there is a lot of hypocrisy within the "green" textile sphere. He recently gave a presentation in New York that focused on green issues. Despite the subject matter, people flew from all over the world to attend the conference and had no qualms about the air conditioning that was being used to keep them cool and comfortable. "If you think about what is happening in society we have to compromise, you can't be perfect," he says. "You try to think about all of the elements and the impact of them, and then compromise. You have to be transparent, this is what we are doing, and always trying to improve," he continues. "It's a never-ending story."
 
The two most important things, he claims, are having a product that feels right and performs well, and that this product has a viable story behind it. 'Technology is one thing and product properties are another," he says. "For example, with Tencel and Modal, the first thing is that you feel the difference. The combination of personal experience and the confidence you have that something is also greener draws the attention. It is something to talk about."
 
Mr Eichinger compares Lenzing to consumer electronics brand Apple, which not only offers individual products, but provides a much broader concept. "it's about providing the whole package, hardware and software," he says.
 
He explains this by saying that the problem for most textile and clothing brands is that they have very little research and development capacity, so they have to be careful where they focus their efforts. This, says Mr Eichinger, is where Lenzing has the edge. 'We give them the stories, the product development information, the marketing help. We also reduce the risk for our customers because we have tested our fibres extensively. For a new company it's not easy to have the whole package available. People build businesses on confidence."
 

According to Mr Eichinger, Lenzing isn't worried about technological advances that are being made by its competitors. The market is so big and everything takes time. There is plenty of capacity," he concludes.

 

FuBio : Building a Bridge from Pulp Mills to New Business & New Markets
 
Future Biorefinery (FuBio), the five-year research programme was started in March 2009. The FuBio programme aims at improving the competitiveness of the Finnish forest cluster by creating a competence platform that enables developing of new products that meet the growing demand for biomass-based products in the future of diminishing fossil resources. The programme has a planned budget of about EUR 50 million for the years 2009 -2014 and involves participants from leading forest cluster companies and top research organizations. Also, international partners are important actors and contribute with spearhead expertise and knowledge. The FuBio programme is one of the five research programmes launched by Forestcluster Ltd that is one of the six Finnish Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation (SHOK), a concept for intensifying cooperation between companies and research institutes, and speeding up the process of converting research results to commercial products. Forestcluster Ltd has launched the FuBio research programme to create new competence in forest biomass biorefining and to stimulate the transformation of the Finnish forest cluster.
 
Novel wood-based value chains : The objective of the FuBio programme is to develop new methods enabling fractionation of wood into cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin and extractives in their native-like form and further, to upgrade these fractions into chemicals and materials. Bioplastics, new composite materials and various biochemicals are examples of potential new end-products. The programme aims at generating innovations that can either be implemented as a part of existing industrial operations, or which open up entirely new wood-based value chains that focus on new business activities and new markets.
 
Unique entity : FuBio is a unique programme – it covers all the strategic themes in the wood biorefining excluding biofuels. There has been wide interest and long culture for biorefining studies in Finland, although research has been very fragmented in small research groups. By linking together all these groups the FuBio programme aims at improving the quality of results and accelerating the implementation of applications. All the FuBio research groups are part of international networks, and their global contacts are backed by Finnish pulp and paper corporations, as well as chemical and machinery suppliers, that are active players in the international markets. During the first two years, the FuBio programme has been focusing on wet laboratory work, such as fractionation technologies, cellulose for material applications, hemicelloses for materials and hydroxyl acids, and biochemicals for protection of products and health.
 
Contact details :
 
Lars Gädda Niklas von Weymarn
Research Director Programme Manager
Forestcluster Ltd. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Tel. +358 50 322 2471 Tel. +358 20 722 7138 
Email : lars.gadda@forestcluster.fi Email : niklas.weymarn@vtt.fi

 

 
by GD Jasuja   8:56 pm

Editorial (June 2011) : New Cloth Market

 
Cotton : To Export or Not to Export!!
 

GD Jasuja - Editor

With regard to the export of cotton, the country has witnessed a very strange and tricky situation this year making the government’s decision irrelevant and unacceptable to the stakeholders – cotton producers, ginners, cotton traders and the consuming industries like spinning mills, yarn traders, power looms, composite mills and of course exporters and importers of these materials including raw cotton. The government and others involved in policy making got sandwiched between two groups whose vested interests had been diagonally opposite irrespective of the fact whether the export was allowed or banned. I feel that this makes a very interesting as well as important case study for our premier institutes of management. Their in-depth study of various aspects of this complex situation can help the government to strike a balance between various stake holders and ensure that the farmers get their fair and assured returns and unscrupulous hoarders get punished. The consuming mills should also not blow up their price concerns just to make more profits or cover up their inefficiency. The middlemen also need to be monitored so that they are not able to exploit the farmers who lack business acumen to deal with the buyers of their produce.
 
There is a growing feeling among the farmers’ bodies that farmers should have the freedom to market their produce wherever there is demand within and outside the country and the entire country should be treated as a single market. This sounds quite logical in the current era of globalization. The ban on cotton exports to protect the powerful textile lobby only helps the textile mill owners who want cheap raw material to increase their profit margins. In view of good demand for cotton in the global markets if farmers want to export their produce to earn some money then it is should not pinch anybody. In any case there is no control on the prices of cloth and garments being sold in the country. Let there be an in-depth study and everybody know the cost structure of cotton farmers and mills. Let each stake holder’s business model be studied to bring  out the real facts.  
 
The export restrictions have been responsible for the misery of cotton growers in all the major cotton producing States who were denied attractive prices to their produce and export in the international market for fetching handsome remunerative prices. The ban is believed to be not only anti-farmers but also against the WTO norms and also undermines the spirit of free economy. The organized sector mills’ associations say that the mills are facing the “worst ever crisis during the past several decades” and therefore the export of cotton should be banned to provide relief to them. The different stakeholders have different demands and also vested interests but the government must see that no one takes undue advantage of the government policies which must be formulated considering the farmers’ realization on top of everything else. Let every stake holder accept this basic point. If everyone, except the farmer, is making money in the value chain then it is going to be shame for the government as well as the civil society. I feel that the government should seek help from various IIMs in policy making and monitoring.
 
by ganari   8:45 pm

 

Contents : New Cloth Market – June 2011
 
 
11 EXECUTIVE PAGES
 
* Kunal Recipe for Anti-microbial/Anti-insect Finish
 
* Constuction & Modelling Children's Trousers
 
 
* Colourtex Recipe for PES Royal Crepe Fabrics
 
* Medical Textiles : Sefar Solutions for the Healthcare Industry
 
* Taiwanese Bamboo Charcoal & Greenyarn's Eco-fabric
 
* “Colorant” at China Interdye 2011 Exhibition
 
33 The Chemistry and Manufacture of Vat Dyes
 
39 Technology Development in Textile Wet  Processing
 
46 Intelligent Textiles, Soft Products
 
57 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PAGES
 
* Innovation & Technology Symposium 2011 Organised by The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles & Apparel
 
* China Interdye 2011 : A Report
 
* List of Exhibitors at the "China Interdye 2011"
 
* International News & Developments 
 
97 News Briefs
by ganari  October 20, 2011 3:11 am
Caustic Soda Recovery
for Mercerizing Lye
Changing Mercerizing
Waste Water into Money
 
During the mercerizing process the diluted caustic soda (weak lye) is normally drained. However, several machinery manufacturers have found a way to recover this diluted caustic soda by evaporating water. They have been producing and supplying Caustic Soda Recovery System for mercerising lye to the textile industry. A large number of such Caustic Soda Recovery Systems are successfully working world-wide.
 
The advantages of caustic recovery are explained in the following example :
 
Example :
 
Fabrics for dry mercerizing: 50 000 m/day, width= 2.0 m, specific weight = 150….250 g/m² (average 200g/m² = 0.2 kg/m²). The mercerizing machine is considered to be operating for 20 hours a day.
 
Quantity of fabrics = 50,000 metres/day (20 hrs day) 
 
= 2500 metres/day = 2500 m (Length) x 2 m (Width) 
= 5000 sq. metres/day = 5000 x 0.2 (200g/m2 = 0.2kg/m2)
= 1000 kg/day
 
Hence, 1000 kgs of dry fabrics are processed every hour. Considering pick-up-values of 120% by weight after impregnation, 100% after stabilization and 80% after washing the flow rates can be seen below :
 
From the above example it is clear that the quantity of alkaline waste water amounts to 4800 kg/h at 8°Bé (5.2%) and its savings can be calculated quite simply as follows :
 
With the price of caustic soda equalling Rs 20 per kg and a production time of 20h/day, 25 days/month, wastage would amount to :
 
The savings of Rs. 300,00,000/year are just for caustic soda. Other savings are in the neutralization process, the waste water rates, waste water treatment and the generation of soft water for rinsing. These costs can also be reduced considerably by employing a suitable Caustic Soda Recovery System.
 
The pay-back time is less than one year!
 
 
Caustic Soda Recovery System separates the weak lye (wash liquor) into strong lye and vapour condensate (slightly alkaline soft water). The condensate can be used for pre-washing and the caustic soda can be reused in the mercerizing process.
 
The Caustic Soda Recovery System requires heating steam and cooling water. The cooling water is heated up to 60°C to 80°C. This hot water generation is a by-product, so some steam for the hot water generation can be saved somewhere else in the factory. The vapour condensate is slightly alkaline soft water with a temperature of approx. 80°C. It can be used for washing, e.g. in the mercerising or bleaching machine, or in other pretreatment. There is no direct contact between the heating steam and the lye, therefore the heating steam condensate can be reused as boiler feed water without cleaning.
Advantages :
 
Payback-time is less than one year!
 
No alkaline waste water from mercerising machine.
 
Generation of hot water from the waste energy.
 
Generation of soft water, the vapour condensate is slightly alkaline.
 
Recovery of surplus lye for wet-on-wet mercerizing.
 
No contamination of the heating steam condensate.
 
Environmental protection. Less chemicals for neutralisation are needed.
 
Operating method of the evaporation plant
 
 
The weak lye is reconcentrated by water evaporation. The Caustic Soda Recovery System is based on the natural circulation evaporation. The heating steam is condensed on the outside of the tubes and heats the lye inside. The lye boils up in the heating tubes, the mixture of lye and vapour flows into the a laterally arranged separator, where the vapour is separated from the circulating lye. The vapour is used as heating steam in the next stage. A partial vapour flow is used to pre-heat the weak lye. The separated lye flows back to the evaporator through a return pipe. A swirl droplet separator integrated into the separator prevents the alkaline liquid from being carried over into the vapour phase.
 
 
The evaporation plant is driven by the pressure gradient between the stages. The highest pressure is in the first stage. The last stage operates under a vacuum maintained by a steam jet vacuum ejector (v) with an after-condenser (ac), or by a liquid-ring-pump. In the first stage (1) live steam generates vapour which flows as heating steam into the second stage (2). The heating steam condensate from the first stage flows back to the boiler. The vapour from the second stage heats the third stage (3). The vapour from the last stage (here the 3rd stage) is condensed with cooling water in condenser (c). So cooling water becomes hot water by utilising waste heat from the last stage. 

 
The more stages a system has, the less heating steam is required. As textile units need large quantities of hot water, the number of stages of the Caustic Soda Recovery System should be as per the required amount of hot water. Sometimes a 3-stage evaporation plant is more economical than a 4-stage one. 
 
The above write up has been contributed by Shri Hardik Shah of Embee – a leading Ahmedabad based manufacturer and exporter of a very wide range of textile machineries and spare parts. Embee also manufactures an innovative Caustic Soda Recovery System based on principles similar to those outlined in the above write up. Embee exports to more than 40 countries. Embee's Caustic Recovery Plant offers an economical & efficient import substitution for similar imported systems. It's key features are : 
 
• Extremely Efficient & Cost Effective
• No Additional Chemical Cost
• Pay Back in 3 to 6 Months
• Easy to Run & Maintain
• All Contact Parts in Stainless Steel
• Heating Medium – Steam/Oil
• A Step Towards Zero Discharge
• Reduces Load On E.T.P.
• Full Capacity Utilization 2/3/4 Effect
• Plant from 2000 LPH to 10000 LPH 
• Eco – Friendly Plant 
 
HO : 426/A, GIDC, Odhav, Ahmedabad-382 415. India Ph : +91-79-2297 6411,22,33,55 Fax : +91-79-2297 6287
Email : info@embeeindia.com
Web : www.embeeindia.com

A NOTE ON MERCERIZATION

 

 

Mercerizing
 
Mercerizing term is applied to a process, discovered in 1844 by John Mercer, a Lancashire calico printer, which consists in treating cotton (and to a limited extent other plant fibres) with strong caustic soda or certain other reagents, where-by morphological and chemical changes are brought about in the fibre . Thus, if a piece of bleached calico be immersed in caustic soda of 50° Tw. strength (sp. gr . 1.25), it rapidly changes in appearance, becoming stiff and translucent, but when taken out and well washed in running water it loses these properties and apparently reverts to its original condition . On closer examination, however, the fabric is found to have shrunk considerably both in length and breadth, so as to render the texture quite different in appearance to that of the original calico; it is also considerably stronger, and if dyed in the same bath along with some of the untreated fabric is found to have acquired a greatly increased affinity for colouring matters. 
 
By far the most important application of the mercerizing process is that by which a permanent lustre is imparted to cotton goods; this was discovered in 1889 by H.A. Lowe, who took out a patent for his process in that year, this being supplemented by a further patent in 1890. Since Lowe's invention did not receive sufficient encouragement, he allowed his patents to lapse and the process thus became public property. 
 
The production of a permanent lustre on cotton by mercerizing is in principle a very simple process, and may be effected in two ways. According to the first method, the cotton is treated in a stretched condition with strong caustic soda, and is then washed, while still stretched, in water. After the washing has been continued for a short time the tension relaxes, and it is then found that the cotton has acquired a permanent lustre or gloss similar in appearance to that of a spun silk though not so pronounced. According to the second method, which constitutes but a slight modification of the first, the cotton is immersed in caustic soda of the strength required for mercerizing, and is then taken out, stretched slightly beyond its original length, and then washed until the tension slackens.
 
The strength of the caustic soda employed in practice is generally between 55 and 60 Tw . The temperature of the caustic soda has a material influence on its action on the cotton fibre – very much stronger solutions being required to produce the same effect at elevated temperatures than at the.ordinary temperature, while, on the contrary, by lowering the temperature it is possible to obtain a good lustre with considerably weaker lyes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by GD Jasuja  April 27, 2011 8:27 pm

New Cloth Market Editorial

(February 2011)
 
GD Jasuja - Editor
U.S. President Barack Obama recently called on Americans to achieve global competitiveness through innovation in order to win the future. He hoped that the economy was growing again leaving behind the worst recession of past two years. He mentioned China and India in his speech acknowledging that the two countries were spending more on education with greater focus on math and science, and were also investing in research and new technologies. He noted that the world had changed, the competition for jobs was real and for many, the change had been painful. However, he was quite optimistic that his country would be able to maintain it's supremacy in the world in the coming future, too. The very fact that Obama had to emphasise on winning the future clearly shows that he felt that the battle for the future was on and China and India were two strong contenders for the same. Since the battle is going to be a long drawn one, there is bound to be lot of uncertainties especially because China has authoritative one Party regime whereas India's democracy is like a lame-duck. This may perhaps help Americans to continue to be the world leaders, if they fight well the present chaos facing their economy. 
 
Talking about China, it has the most impressive economy in the world but lacks natural and other resources.  There is a possibility that with the increasing demands of its growing middle class, China could run a trade deficit along with a weakening currency in a few years time. It is also recognised that China has better government policy makers whose most of the recommendations are followed by the governing Communist Party. However, the lack of democracy and ever increasing disparities between rich and poor can act as a big destabilising force in coming years and adversely affect China's march ahead. India, on the other hand, has leadership in the IT industry and has a vast pool of English speaking reasonably qualified young boys and girls who are the basic raw material for the fast growing service industry. But India's governance is burdened with too much of corruption at every stage, infrastructure is known to be pathetic and the legal system lacks credibility. There should be no illusion that India is any where in sight competing with China.
 
Let us examine the textile and apparel industry of India and China. India had set the target to achieve $50bn exports by 2010. India's Exports in 2004-05 were $14bn and in 2005-06: $ 17bn. India's official target in 2005, at the end of the quota system, was to achieving 7-8% share in the coming three years, and about 15 to 16% by the year 2010. Today, our leaders expect to achieve 20% per annum growth in exports over the next five years which would double India’s share of the global textile industry to about 6.6%.  India expects exports to be $24bn (about 4.5% of the global trade) for the current fiscal against the estimated  $20bn in 2009-2010. Experts believe this could reach $80bn in 10 years, or 8% of the world market. 
 
China's export of textile and clothes touched $206.53bn in 2010 (Jan.-Dec.), rising 23.59% from previous year. The global trade in textiles and clothing is expected to touch around $800bn by 2014 from the current $500bn. So, the fact-of-the-matter is that we are comparing India – having an annual exports of hardly $24bn (less than 4% global share) – with China having annual exports of more than $206bn and the global share of nearly 40%. Are they comparable? Definitely, No. Even Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam are performing better than India on the export front.
 
The scenario is more or less similar in almost all spheres of economic activity. Definitely, India is not in the picture when it comes to Obama's so called 'war' to win the future. This 'war' is going to be between the US and China and everyone understands that. Obama may have just mentioned India's name to downplay China's role but let us not have any illusion. Let them fight that war. As far as India is concerned, we got to manage the present well so that we not only maintain our core competencies and specialities but also try to eliminate our drawbacks, acquire newer skills and hence 'make' the future for our billion plus population in the years to come. Let us not try to 'win' the future. Instead, let us work all together to 'make' it.
 
 
by GD Jasuja   6:37 pm

 

New Cloth Market Editorial 
March 2011
 
For the Kind Attn. of the Govt. of India : Curb the Late Payment Culture, the EU Way
GD Jasuja - Editor
 
The European Parliament of Enterprises, last October, adopted the Late Payment Directive in order to eradicate Europe’s  late payment culture (in commercial transactions) which affected the cash flow of businesses across the EU. It was observed : "Many payments in commercial transactions between economic operators or between economic operators and public authorities are made later than agreed in the contract or laid down in the general commercial conditions. Although the goods are delivered or the services performed, many corresponding invoices are paid well after the deadline. Such late payment negatively affects liquid assets and complicates the financial management of enterprises.It also affects their competitiveness and profitability when the creditor needs to obtain external financing because of late payment. This risk strongly increases in periods of the economic downturn when access to financing is more difficult".The Directive further said : "Late payment constitutes a breach of contract which has been made financially attractive to debtors by low or no interest rates charged on late payments and/or slow procedures for redress. A decisive shift to a culture of prompt payment is necessary to reverse this trend and to ensure that the consequences of late payments are such as to discourage late payment.  The agreement sets a maximum cap of 60 days for payments by public authorities; this will benefit the many businesses, particularly SMEs, that provide goods and services to public bodies. All business-to-business transactions are also included under the scope of the directive. The creditor is entitled to interest  for late payment without the necessity of a reminder. Chambers will monitor closely the process over the two-year transposition period.
 
India has the worst culture of late payments across all businesses including a large number of public enterprises. When it comes to the textile industry, the situation is really pathetic. Ask any supplier, whether a dyes-chemical supplier, machinery supplier, grey cloth supplier, finished goods supplier, everyone is facing recovery problem. Most of their sales executives have become 'recovery' executives. Recently, the Federation of Gujarat Weavers'Association (FOGWA), Surat demanded that the textile traders would have to make the net payment within seven days of the receipt of grey cloth instead of three months credit which was being given to them. However, the Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA) has declined to accept this.
 
The dishonour of a cheque for insufficiency, etc., of funds in the accounts is punishable with imprisonment for up to 2 years, or with fine, which may extend to twice the amount of the cheque, or with both. The affected creditor can file a Criminal Complaint u/s 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act . It was hoped that this would curb the culture of willful and frequent bouncing of cheques. Even so, offenders are losing all fear of cheque-bouncing because of long dates and extra-ordinary delay in finalisation of such cases. According to some estimates over 30 lakh cheque bounce cases were pending throughout the country. 
 
When we compare the EU scenario with that of ours, we find that we are hundreds of miles away from where they are aiming to be. However, if there area strong will and readiness to act then it should be possible in India as well. We can certainly work out some way to curb both, the late payment as well as dishonour of cheques, in a combined manner under one common law which operates automatically without the hassles of complex court procedures. A Utopian thought, but worth thinking, indeed.
 
by GD Jasuja   6:31 pm

New Cloth Market Editorial 

(April 2011)

"Union Budget 2011-2012 : The Garment Industry Given Back to the Babu Raj"
GD Jasuja - Editor
 
Some of the highlights of the Union Budget presented by the Union Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, are :
 
• A mandatory Excise duty of 10% imposed on ready made garments and textile made ups bearing a brand name or sold under a brand name.
 
• An excise duty of 5 percent imposed on automatic looms and projectile looms.
 
• Excise duty is reduced from 10% to 5% on parts of specified textile machinery.
 
• Excise duty rate of 10% on Man-made fibre textiles remains unchanged.
 
• Peak rate of customs duty retained at 10%.
 
• Basic custom duty on raw silk (not thrown) reduced from 30% to 5 percent.
 
• Basic customs duty reduced from 5% to 2.5% on certain textile intermediates.
 
• Basic customs duty on certain specified inputs for manufacture of certain technical fibre and yarn reduced from 7.5 percent to 5 percent.
 
• Cotton waste fully exempted from basic customs duty.
 
• Basic customs duty on Poly Tetra Methylene Ether Glycol (PTMEG) and Diphenylmethane 4, 4- Diisocyanate (MDI) reduced from 7.5 percent to 5 percent subject to actual user condition.
 
• Basic Customs duty reduced from 5 percent to 2.5 percent on Acrylonitrile.
 
• Basic Customs duty reduced from 7.5 percent to 5 percent on Sodium Polyacrylate. Basic Customs reduced from 10% to 7.5 percent on Caprolactum.
 
• Basic Customs duty reduced from 10% to 7.5% on Nylon chips, fibre & yarn.
 
• Basic customs duty reduced from 5% to 2.5% on rayon grade wood pulp.
 
• Service tax rate retained at 10%. Exemption provided to services provided by an organizer of business exhibitions in relation to business exhibitions held outside India. Value of Airfreight included in the assessable value of goods for charging customs duties excluded from taxable value for the purpose of levy of service tax under the “Transport of goods by air service”. Exemption from service tax on membership fees under “Club or association service” given to the associations or chambers representing industry or commerce for the period from 16th June 2005 to 31st March 2008.
 
• Rs.3100 Crores allocated under the TUF Scheme.
 
• To quicken the clearance of the cargo by customs and further modernize the customs administration, the Budget has proposed to introduce self-assessment in customs. Under this, importers and exporters will, themselves, assess their duty liabilities while filing their declarations in the EDI system. The department will verify such assessments on a selective system driven basis. Taking into account the fact that there have been considerable difficulties in the sanction of refunds relating to service tax paid on services used for export of goods, the Budget has proposed to shortly introduce a scheme for the refund of these taxes on the lines of duty drawback in a far more simplified and expeditious manner.

GD Jasuja

by GD Jasuja  January 7, 2011 3:43 am

Editorial : November 2010

Increase Productivity and Learn Risk Management to Counter/Neutralize the Impact of Rising Rupee

GD Jasuja - EditorTextile & Clothing is an important sector in India’s export basket. This sector has negligible use of imported inputs and is an employer of a large number of people in India. Rupee appreciation in the past has resulted in loss in export growth both in textile as well as in the readymade garment (RMG) sector. Clothing sector is highly labour intensive. An investment of Rs.100 Million generates 500 direct and 200 indirect jobs. Around 5.8 million people are engaged in apparel industry. Any slowdown in the export growth will adversely affect the employment generation. In fact, in many sub categories, job losses are already reported. It is estimated that for every percentage point of appreciation, profitability of exports in the textile sector is hit by 1.2%.

RBI has clearly indicated that it is going to intervene to contain the rise in rupee to avoid it’s negative impact on exporters. As India’s exports are at stake, government of India also needs to gear up to take appropriate steps to neutralize the effect of rupee appreciation, mainly in the form of providing several incentives to exporters and enhancing some of the existing ones. It is widely feared that profits will tank for the textile industry if the rupee goes below 44 against the US dollar. The rupee’s rise will certainly trim down profit margins and hit export competitiveness. Firms should, therefore, handle their foreign exchange with due care. As India is gradually getting integrated with the world economy, currency volatility will become a normal affair. Similarly, it is important for the firms – that are already enjoying several incentives for quite sometime – to enhance their productivity with the help of such incentives. Higher productivity leads to lower cost of production, and thus it can play a key role in neutralizing the loss that may occur due to currency appreciation. Within the industry also, we can see that the effect of rupee appreciation varies among firms. More productive firms can absorb the loss in a better way. Furthermore, firms need to learn sophisticated methods of risk management to maintain a favourable foreign currency hedge in view of the volatile currency market which has already become the order of the day.
Chinese are very much under pressure to appreciate their currency. The appreciation of the yuan, together with rising raw material and labor costs, has already squeezed profit margins in China’s textile industry. The yuan rose 21 percent against the U.S. dollar from 2005 to 2008. It is feared that if the yuan actually appreciates 5 percent from the current level against the U.S. dollar, then over half of China’s home textile companies will go bankrupt.
To cope with yuan appreciation, Chinese textile companies have already started vigorously promoting industry upgradation and technological innovation to achieve value addition. They have also started making structural adjustment to focus on the huge domestic market.
We got to do the same to be in the business of exports.

Textile & Clothing is an important sector in India’s export basket. This sector has negligible use of imported inputs and is an employer of a large number of people in India. Rupee appreciation in the past has resulted in loss in export growth both in textile as well as in the readymade garment (RMG) sector. Clothing sector is highly labour intensive. An investment of Rs.100 Million generates 500 direct and 200 indirect jobs. Around 5.8 million people are engaged in apparel industry. Any slowdown in the export growth will adversely affect the employment generation. In fact, in many sub categories, job losses are already reported. It is estimated that for every percentage point of appreciation, profitability of exports in the textile sector is hit by 1.2%.
RBI has clearly indicated that it is going to intervene to contain the rise in rupee to avoid it’s negative impact on exporters. As India’s exports are at stake, government of India also needs to gear up to take appropriate steps to neutralize the effect of rupee appreciation, mainly in the form of providing several incentives to exporters and enhancing some of the existing ones. It is widely feared that profits will tank for the textile industry if the rupee goes below 44 against the US dollar. The rupee’s rise will certainly trim down profit margins and hit export competitiveness. Firms should, therefore, handle their foreign exchange with due care. As India is gradually getting integrated with the world economy, currency volatility will become a normal affair. Similarly, it is important for the firms – that are already enjoying several incentives for quite sometime – to enhance their productivity with the help of such incentives. Higher productivity leads to lower cost of production, and thus it can play a key role in neutralizing the loss that may occur due to currency appreciation. Within the industry also, we can see that the effect of rupee appreciation varies among firms. More productive firms can absorb the loss in a better way. Furthermore, firms need to learn sophisticated methods of risk management to maintain a favourable foreign currency hedge in view of the volatile currency market which has already become the order of the day.
Chinese are very much under pressure to appreciate their currency. The appreciation of the yuan, together with rising raw material and labor costs, has already squeezed profit margins in China’s textile industry. The yuan rose 21 percent against the U.S. dollar from 2005 to 2008. It is feared that if the yuan actually appreciates 5 percent from the current level against the U.S. dollar, then over half of China’s home textile companies will go bankrupt.
To cope with yuan appreciation, Chinese textile companies have already started vigorously promoting industry upgradation and technological innovation to achieve value addition. They have also started making structural adjustment to focus on the huge domestic market.
We got to do the same to be in the business of exports.

GD Jasuja

by GD Jasuja   3:24 am

Editorial – January 2011

The World Welcomes 2011 With High Hopes

GD Jasuja - EditorThere is a general feeling that the world markets are on the recovery path after the nightmares of 2008 and 2009. This is especially true for the textile industry where we notice an upswing, even in so-called high-labor-cost countries – like Switzerland, Germany, Italy and even the United States – where leading machinery manufacturers have started reporting higher demand for their specialised machinery thanks to the booming Asian markets. In view of increasing purchasing power, consumers in these emerging markets are demanding better quality products and are ready to pay a premium for the branded goods. There is also considerable growth in demand in these countries.
 
The Swiss textile machinery makers – Uster Technologies AG and Loepfe Brothers Ltd. – are reported to have confirmed that the demand for machineries that help in quality control and quality enhancement has particularly grown steeply due to greater emphasis being put on obtaining improved product quality. The spinning sector has shown considerable growth as this sector is mainly responsible for controlling a number of basic and fundamental parameters which affect both quality and costs including that of the raw material. Since the raw material contributes to 55%-65% of total production costs, it is vital to maximize the yield and minimize waste. Therefore, to ensure a very efficient overall process/production management mills need to have appropriate instruments, measurements and systematic analysis.
 
Similarly, the demand for weaving machineries and that for non-wovens and technical textiles is also on the rise globally. There is increasing interest in digital printing, too. The increased demand for textile machineries is reported from countries like China, India, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea. Most stakeholders in the industry are hopeful that 2011 will be an even better year, thanks also to the forthcoming ITMA 2011 in Barcelona which will be a good indicator to gauge the industry’s performance and direction. The upswing recorded by some countries are : Germany (7.1%), Italy (6.0%), Brazil (4.8%) and the US (3.8%). People are expecting that the current positive trend will not only continue but will get a boost due to the forthcoming ITMA in Barcelona.
However, the main concern, at present, is the volatility prevailing among the major world currencies such as the U.S. dollar, the euro and the renminbi. Another difficulty being faced by the textile industry, in particular, are the high market prices of key raw materials such as cotton that play a dominant role in deciding the health of the industry.
 
In spite of these concerns, there is a widespread ‘feel good’ effect and the overall outlook for the new year clearly seems to be quite positive. So, let’s welcome 2011 with open and optimistic mind. NCM wishes its readers a very very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

GD Jasuja

by GD Jasuja   2:39 am
Editorial : December 2010
Editorial : Think Globally, Act Strategically
 
GD Jasuja - EditorThe current cotton crisis prevailing in the textile industries of various countries – that have a very dominant textile sector – is one of the irritating side effects of the policy of liberalization, modernisation and globalisation, which is now reasonably well established as a global phenomenon. And, as per the forecast made decades ago, it gives very little control to any one country for manipulating the core principles of the new world order.
We are living in a world (fashionably called "Global Village") where every country is connected with other countries in some way or the other, especially in the economic and financial domains. If one country makes any move to protect its economic or other interests then other countries have several ready options to make that move not only worthless but even counter-productive.
The US pressure on Chinese to appreciate their currency has snowballed into a sharp increase in prices of Chinese goods being imported by the US placing the burden on the American consumers who have not yet identified cheaper and stable alternative to the Chinese.
The Indian textile industry has strongly protested against the government policy to allow export of cotton. Now if cotton is not allowed to be exported then farmers are supposed to suffer a big loss as they are not  able to get right prices for their produce. Spinners and weavers are said to gain due to lower cotton prices but do they really gain? The answer is NO. They are simply working as converters, mostly on job work basis. Do consumers are made to pay lower prices? No way. The business of the textile supply chain is quite open and the cost structure is very well known to everyone involved with the business. Under such circumstances the increasing costs are generally passed on to the last few conversion points where they are either absorbed or passed on to the end consumers. Quite often, it is not possible to pass on the burden to the consumers because higher prices adversely impact the demand causing an unwanted chain reaction backward leading to hue and cry in the whole industry. Some large composite mills and apparel makers generally find it difficult to manage the increase in prices of such raw materials and they tend to turn to government seeking policy favour instead of having a deep look into their working style and tackle issues related with productivity and quality facing them.
It is high time the industries realise and accept their weaknesses and seriously focus on improving their work practices, productivity and quality. They should stop their reliance on the government policies for making their businesses profitable. After all, we are living in an open globalised world and firmly believe that everyone should get equal opportunities to make profit and progress.
The globalisation that has developed at a remarkable speed in the recent past, has started to show off its true colours. However, one factor which clearly emerges is that there is an outstanding potential for long-term partnerships across the world. Collaboration with various stakeholders increases the competitiveness, opens up new market opportunities and facilitates entry into newer markets. The need of the hour is to really modernise not only the production and marketing facilities but also the mindset that works behind the business. How many of Indian manufacturers can produce their goods of a given quality as efficiently and as economically, which their Chinese counterparts are able to do even with the same cost of inputs? It's time to think globally and act strategically. Right?

The current cotton crisis prevailing in the textile industries of various countries – that have a very dominant textile sector – is one of the irritating side effects of the policy of liberalization, modernisation and globalisation, which is now reasonably well established as a global phenomenon. And, as per the forecast made decades ago, it gives very little control to any one country for manipulating the core principles of the new world order.

We are living in a world (fashionably called "Global Village") where every country is connected with other countries in some way or the other, especially in the economic and financial domains. If one country makes any move to protect its economic or other interests then other countries have several ready options to make that move not only worthless but even counter-productive.

The US pressure on Chinese to appreciate their currency has snowballed into a sharp increase in prices of Chinese goods being imported by the US placing the burden on the American consumers who have not yet identified cheaper and stable alternative to the Chinese.

The Indian textile industry has strongly protested against the government policy to allow export of cotton. Now if cotton is not allowed to be exported then farmers are supposed to suffer a big loss as they are not  able to get right prices for their produce. Spinners and weavers are said to gain due to lower cotton prices but do they really gain? The answer is NO. They are simply working as converters, mostly on job work basis. Do consumers are made to pay lower prices? No way. The business of the textile supply chain is quite open and the cost structure is very well known to everyone involved with the business. Under such circumstances the increasing costs are generally passed on to the last few conversion points where they are either absorbed or passed on to the end consumers. Quite often, it is not possible to pass on the burden to the consumers because higher prices adversely impact the demand causing an unwanted chain reaction backward leading to hue and cry in the whole industry. Some large composite mills and apparel makers generally find it difficult to manage the increase in prices of such raw materials and they tend to turn to government seeking policy favour instead of having a deep look into their working style and tackle issues related with productivity and quality facing them.

It is high time the industries realise and accept their weaknesses and seriously focus on improving their work practices, productivity and quality. They should stop their reliance on the government policies for making their businesses profitable. After all, we are living in an open globalised world and firmly believe that everyone should get equal opportunities to make profit and progress.

The globalisation that has developed at a remarkable speed in the recent past, has started to show off its true colours. However, one factor which clearly emerges is that there is an outstanding potential for long-term partnerships across the world. Collaboration with various stakeholders increases the competitiveness, opens up new market opportunities and facilitates entry into newer markets. The need of the hour is to really modernise not only the production and marketing facilities but also the mindset that works behind the business. How many of Indian manufacturers can produce their goods of a given quality as efficiently and as economically, which their Chinese counterparts are able to do even with the same cost of inputs? It's time to think globally and act strategically. Right?

GD Jasuja

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